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Forbes Discusses Domaining with Marc Ostrofsky

Ostrofsky's company, which recently received funding from Perot Investments and Starbucks boss Howard Schultz's firm Maveron, isn't the only company hoping to cash in on domain name traffic trends. Last month, startup Demand Media surfaced with 150,000 names and $120 million in investments led by Richard Rosenblatt. Rosenblatt was formerly the chairman of Intermix Media, the company that owned MySpace before it was acquired by News Corp. Ostrofsky and Internet REIT Chief Executive Bob Martin talked with Forbes.com about whether buying up Website names for the sole purpose of selling ad space is similar to investing in highway-adjacent land and filling it with billboards.

"If you go to Google and search for "E-Tickets" you're going to get a listing of ten ads. If you go to our site, Etickets.com, you're going to see that same listing, but presented in a slightly different way. Are people criticizing Google for the way they make money? It is the same way we make money. We're supplying some of that traffic to Google."

Read full story: Forbes

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Re: Forbes Discusses Domaining with Marc Ostrofsky Daniel T. Dreymann  –  May 24, 2006 9:18 PM PDT

Frobes?! Typo in headline :-(

Re: Forbes Discusses Domaining with Marc Ostrofsky Admin  –  May 24, 2006 10:23 PM PDT

Thank you Daniel, the error has been fixed.

Re: Forbes Discusses Domaining with Marc Ostrofsky David A. Ulevitch  –  May 25, 2006 12:39 PM PDT

Ostrofsky says:

MO: There are three ways people get to Google and Google makes money. You go to Google directly, you go to a link that connects you to Google, or you go to a domain name that connects you to Google. All three are part of the Google ecosystem of making money.

He claims Google makes money.  That's unquestionable.  The question is about how much they make and from what areas.  Someone (or some bot, let's be honest) clicking on an ad on a BS parked page and redirecting to an advertisers site isn't going to keep paying CPC if the advertisers doesn't see the acquisition.

As online markets move to a CPA model from a CPC (or for the few left, CPM) model my guess is that most parked domain sites will totally disappear.  For the ones left, they'll flourish.  It is true that an airline ticket ad, paying on a CPA model can pay a ton.  It the rudimentary level it's the same model as kayak.com — the acquisition of new customers (who complete a sale). 

And for those who think the above is contradictory, let me explain:  I don't have a problem with all parked domains — some serve a purpose, some are temporary, etc.  I have a problem with the ones that I used to see doing all kinds of weird HTTP redirect tricks on EveryDNS that when I would occasionally terminate them for abuse would create all kinds of odd ad and botnet related traffic on my network…

-David Ulevitch

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